Joe Biden was sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States (US) yesterday. The overwhelming Christian symbolism at the Presidential inauguration was hard to miss. It must be mentioned here that Biden is only the second catholic President after John F Kennedy with a majority of the Presidents being Protestants and four being Nontrinitarians. No matter which Christian denomination and the political party they belonged to, all US Presidents with the exception of John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt have sworn-in using the Bible.
It is, therefore, hardly surprising that Biden would take oath in the name of the Bible. On this occasion, Biden used a family heirloom Bible from1893 for his swearing-in as he has done on several occasions before this including for his swearing-in as a US senator and when he became Vice President (VP) under Barack Obama.
Taking oath in the name of the Bible wasn’t the only Christian symbolism in Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Biden and Kamala Harris attended a church service at The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle along with their family members and some of the congressional leaders before heading to the inauguration ceremony at Capitol Hill.
The sermon at the mass was delivered by Jesuit pastor Rev. Kevin O’Brien who shared readings from the Bible explaining how to care for people in need and also asked Biden to ‘turn to god’ during difficult moments that lie ahead. It is traditional to attend a pre-inaugural church service with several previous presidents including Reagan, Truman, and Bush among others having done so.
Additionally, there were pastors delivering sermons at the Presidential inauguration. News portal Deseret quotes St. Peter’s Catholic church pastor Rev. Gary Studniewski while offering Wednesday morning prayer service as saying:
“Our country has deep troubles. From whence shall come our help? Do we look to the mountains or do we look to the depths? Today, as every day, we look to God for that divine assistance that saves, that rescues, that can calm and unify”.
The news portal also pointed out how the ceremony was a reminder of the significance of Christianity in Biden’s life. It further said the program included two faith leaders who have provided spiritual guidance to the new president throughout his career in politics and a shoutout to a Catholic saint.
Rev. Silvester Beaman pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church delivered ‘blessing from god’ at Biden’s oath taking ceremony. Then there was Jesuit Catholic pastor Father Leo O’Donovan wanted Americans to join Biden in the latter’s ‘fight for a brighter future’.
Biden’s address itself was in keeping with his Christian faith as he repeatedly invoked St. Augustine as also quoting verses from the bible time and again. Invoking St. Augustine, Biden said “many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love defined by the common objects of their love” while speaking about upholding liberty, security and (ironically) truth.
“And I promise you that this as the Bible said weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together, together” Biden said while adding that he will ‘repair’ alliances and engage with the world. He ended his speech by promising in the name of god and the sacred oath he taken to work for the Americans.
The oath on Bible, biblical verses, pastors’ blessings, Christian religious services weren’t the only religiosity on display Imam Mohammed Magid of All Dulles Area Muslim Society also offered prayers as part of a virtual event while asking Biden to heal America from racism, bigotry and hate.
Besides, inauguration festivities based on religion are set to go on for almost through the week to mark the start of the Biden administration. Washington National Cathedral will hold the traditional inaugural prayer service virtually on Thursday morning featuring Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers.
While Biden being true to his Christian faith is neither unexpected nor unacceptable but what is deplorable is the cheerleading that Biden’s Christianity gets even in Bharat while the same liberal Lutyens gang is against any display of Hindu Dharmic roots in Hindu majority Bharat.
It is not hard to imagine Washington Post or New York Times headlines screeching “Fascist Hindutva takes over”, “Minorities in Bharat threatened” etc if any Hindu Prime Minister were to take oath on the Vedas, Ramayana, or even the Bhagavad Gita. Their cheerleaders in Bharat such as Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Rajdeep Sardesai, Nidhi Razdan, Shekar Gupta and others of their ilk would write reams of opeds ‘proving’ how minorities in the country are feeling threatened by a Hindu PM displaying his Hindu roots a la Biden.
Only recently a US councilwoman who had walked out of a Hindu prayer at Biloxi City Council Meeting had justified her act saying that she would only stand, bow or worship Jesus Christ. The absence of Hindu speakers in the Washington National Cathedra prayer service quoted above is conspicuous by its absence considering the fact that VP Kamala Harris was tomtomming her ‘Bharatiya’ roots and also extended wishes during the ‘Hindu navratri festival’.
The entire liberal brigade suffered a massive meltdown first during the bhoomi pujan of Sri Ram Mandir and also when PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the new parliament building. The logic of the secular liberal Lutyens gang is everything Christian and/or Muslim is good and anything Hindu is fascist and threatens the democracy.
No wonder the cabal, which is otherwise secular and atheist, cheerleads a Biden wearing his Christianity on his sleeve and looks down upon a Modi or Yogi or anyone proudly displaying their Hindu Dharma. The irony and hypocrisy is hard to miss!